Monday, May 11, 2015

Return to/of the Challenge - Slow Going

So I was very productive in my week off the challenge. However the kerfuffle expanded (as kerfuffle is wont to do) to take up two more days than I expected.

I got Tuesday's podcast episode in the can. It needs a little tweaking, but not much.  I read the first chapter of The Man Who Did Too Much -- quite a challenge, really, but FUN, and maybe I'll tell you more about that Tuesday or Wednesday after it's posted. (I'm honestly considering reading the whole thing on a podcast.)

I also did a couple of raw recordings of short episodes for the writing podcast of this blog -- but that's for later.

(In the meantime, I hope you caught the previous episode -- "The Bellhound." A somewhat silly contemporary fantasy story about a woman and a not-quite-a-dog.  I think I'm getting better at performing, and I think that episode shows it.)

The 5k a Day Challenge

So I didn't start back until yesterday, and so far I haven't yet got up to 5,000 words in a day's progress.  I got about 3,000 both Saturday and Sunday.  And on Sunday, at least, I worked ALL DAY.

But I am pleased all the same, because I was doing hard and fruitful work: developing character "vibes" -- for want of a better term -- and also filling in some parts that I hadn't hammered out in the outline because I didn't realize they needed hammering out.

My heroine has convinced me to let her keep her sassiness.  "I am sweet.  I am not one of those obnoxious and shallow heroines. I can make people love me, especially when I get into trouble. I have surprises up my sleeve for you."

And she did.  She has a frankness and aplomb that make her work as a suspense heroine without her being tougher than your average damsel.  (She actually is a little tougher than your average damsel, but the toughness doesn't come from knowing how to use nunchuks.)

Not sure if it's a problem if she becomes a "type" I will use a lot. Especially in the voice area of the series.  After all, this is supposed to be a kind of formula series where readers can expect a similar feel from each book.  (She is actually is a variation on the type of heroine I use a lot in my regular fiction. But I think it will be more noticeable in this pen name.)

Writing Across The Whole Story

The other thing I did was start writing bits of end scenes that were problematic in my head.  As I worked them out, I began to discover additional scenes that make the timing and development work better.

I always work across the whole story when I write -- I don't write from beginning to end.  I thought doing the Xtreme Outline would change this, but it didn't.

It enhanced it.

It supercharged it.

Wow Jingies, it's a fabulous experience now.  It's like painting quickly across a canvas, spontaneously, without hesitation, because you can see the whole composition while you work.  You've got a little burnt ochre on your brush so you dab, swash, dab to tie things together before you load up on the blue.

I still still stall out inside the scenes often -- deciding if this is the moment for the heroine to look away or the cop to play it hard or soft -- but there are no squishy blank spots for me to avoid until I figure it out. I do not get stalled between scenes at all.  Never.  I can jump anywhere and get straight to work.

Me likes it muchly.

I just hope the pace picks up once I get these odd scenes nailed down.

See you in the funny papers.


Elizabeth Spann Craig said...

Sounds like you're getting tons done, despite the distractions!

Love not-quite-a-dog. :)

5k a Rarely do I do that. Maybe once a week and only if I pretend I haven't met my goal for the day.

The Daring Novelist said...


5k is the hoped-for result of last month's Xtreme Outlining. I'll take the 3k though.